More to be desired are they than gold - This is strictly true; but who believes it? By most men gold is preferred both to God and his judgments; and they will barter every heavenly portion for gold and silver!
Sweeter also than honey - To those whose mental taste is rectified, who have a spiritual discernment.
Honey-comb - Honey is sweet; but honey just out of the comb has a sweetness, richness and flavour, far beyond what it has after it becomes exposed to the air. Only those who have eaten of honey from the comb can feel the force of the psalmist's comparison: it is better than gold, yea, than fine gold in the greatest quantity; it is sweeter than honey, yea, than honey from the comb.
More to be desired are they than gold - That is, his law; or, as in the preceding verse, his judgments. They are more valuable than gold; they are of such a nature that the soul should more desire to be in possession of them than to be in possession of gold, and should value them more. The psalmist here and in the following verses describes his estimate of the worth of revealed truth as he perceived it. In the previous verses he had shown its value in the abstract; he here speaks of his own feelings in regard to it, and shows that he esteems it more than he did the objects most prized and valued among men.
Yea, than much fine gold - The word used here - פז pâz - means properly that which is purified or pure, and thus becomes an epithet of gold, particularly of gold that is purified. It is rendered fine gold here, as in Psalm 119:127; Proverbs 8:19; Isaiah 13:12; Lamentations 4:2; and pure gold in Psalm 21:3. The word does not occur elsewhere. Gold is an article of principal value among men; and the object here is to show that to a pious mind the revealed truth of God is esteemed to be the most valuable of all things - a treasure above all which men can accumulate, and all which men can prize. Every truly pious heart will respond to the sentiment expressed here.
Sweeter also than honey - Honey, the sweetest of all substances, and regarded as an article of luxury, or as most grateful to the taste. It entered largely into the food of the inhabitants of Palestine, as it does now in Switzerland and in some parts of Africa. The idea is that the truth of God, as revealed, is more grateful to the heart, or affords more pleasure to the soul, than that which is esteemed as the highest luxury to the palate. The meaning is, that it is loved; it is pleasant; it is agreeable; it is not regarded merely as necessary, and admitted to the soul because it is needful, as medicine is, but it is received into the soul because it is delighted in, or is more agreeable and pleasant than the most luscious article of food is to the taste. To this, also, the heart of every one who “has tasted the good word of God” will respond.
And the honeycomb - Margin, dropping of honeycombs. So the Hebrew. The allusion is to honey that drops from the combs, and therefore the most pure honey. That which is pressed from the combs will have almost inevitably a mixture of bee-bread and of the combs themselves. That which naturally flows from the comb will be pure.
The struggle that David went through, every other follower of Christ must go through. Satan has come down with great power, knowing that his time is short. The controversy is being waged in full view of the heavenly universe, and angels stand ready to lift up for God's hard pressed soldiers a standard against the enemy, and to put into their lips songs of victory and rejoicing (Manuscript 38, 1905). 3BC 1143.1
5. All Paths Are Beset With Peril—You need not be surprised if everything in the journey heavenward is not pleasant. There is no use in looking to our own defects. Looking unto Jesus, the darkness passes away, and the true light shineth. Go forth daily, expressing the prayer of David, “Hold up my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.” All the paths of life are beset with peril, but we are safe if we follow where the Master leads the way, trusting the One whose voice we hear saying, “Follow Me.” “He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Let your heart repose in His love. We need sanctification, soul, body, and spirit. This we must seek for (NL No. 11, p. 2). 3BC 1143.2Read in context »
When the Spirit of God reveals to man the full meaning of the law, a change takes place in his heart. The faithful portrayal of his true state by the prophet Nathan made David acquainted with his own sins, and aided him in putting them away. He accepted the counsel meekly, and humbled himself before God. “The law of the Lord,” he said, “is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:7-14). 1SM 212.1
Paul's testimony of the law is: “What shall we say then? Is the law sin [the sin is in the man, not in the law]? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me” (Romans 7:7-11). 1SM 212.2Read in context »
“Labor not for the meat which perisheth,” Christ admonished, “but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for Him hath God the Father sealed.” John 6:27. When we obey these words, we shall rightly understand the teachings of the Scriptures, and esteem the truth as the most valuable treasure with which to store the mind. We shall have within us a wellspring of the water of life. We shall pray, as did the psalmist, “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law;” and we shall find, as he did, that “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is Thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Psalm 119:18; 19:9-11. CT 31.1
It is only life that can beget life. He alone has life who is connected with the Source of life, and only such can be a channel of life. In order that the teacher may accomplish the object of his work, he should be a living embodiment of truth, a living channel through which wisdom and life may flow. A pure life, the result of sound principles and right habits, should therefore be regarded as his most essential qualification. CT 31.2Read in context »
Then we shall rightly understand the teaching of God's word, and esteem the truth as the most valuable treasure with which to store the mind. We shall have a constant wellspring of the waters of life. We shall pray as did the psalmist, “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law,” and shall find as he did that “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is Thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.”—The Review and Herald, November 24, 1891. FE 185.1Read in context »
After the entrance of sin, the heavenly Husbandman transplanted the tree of life to the Paradise above; but its branches hang over the wall to the lower world. Through the redemption purchased by the blood of Christ, we may still eat of its life-giving fruit. 7BC 989.1
Of Christ it is written, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” He is the fountain of life. Obedience to Him is the life-giving power that gladdens the soul. 7BC 989.2
Christ declares: “I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” [John 6:57, 63; Revelation 2:7, last part, quoted] (The Signs of the Times, March 31, 1909, reprinted from Testimonies for the Church 8:288). 7BC 989.3
(Psalm 19:10; John 6:54-57.) Tree of Life Planted for Us—The sons of men have had a practical knowledge of evil, but Christ came to the world to show them that He had planted for them the tree of life, the leaves of which were for the healing of the nations (Manuscript 67, 1898). 7BC 989.4
The leaves of the tree of life are proffered you. They are sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. Take them, eat them, digest them, and your faintheartedness will pass away (Manuscript 71, 1898). 7BC 989.5
Christ ... was the tree of life to all who would pluck and eat (Manuscript 95, 1898). 7BC 989.6
Bible the Tree of Life to Us—Let all bear in mind that the tree of life bears twelve manner of fruits. This represents the spiritual work of our earthly missions. The Word of God is to us the tree of life. Every portion of the Scripture has its use. In every part of the Word is some lesson to be learned. Then learn how to study your Bibles. This book is not a heap of odds and ends. It is an educator. Your own thoughts must be called into exercise before you can be really benefited by Bible study. Spiritual sinew and muscle must be brought to bear upon the Word. The Holy Spirit will bring to remembrance the words of Christ. He will enlighten the mind, and guide the research (Letter 3, 1898). 7BC 989.7
Christ the Tree of Life—Christ is the source of our life, the source of immortality. He is the tree of life, and to all who come to Him He gives spiritual life (The Review and Herald, January 26, 1897). 7BC 989.8
10-12 (chs. 4:3; 10:1; see EGW on ch. 10:7; 2 Peter 3:9). Christ's Intercession Soon to Cease—The One who has stood as our intercessor; who hears all penitential prayers and confessions; who is represented with a rainbow, the symbol of grace and love, encircling His head, is soon to cease His work in the heavenly sanctuary. Grace and mercy will then descend from the throne, and justice will take their place. He for whom His people have looked will assume His right—the office of Supreme Judge (The Review and Herald, January 1, 1889). 7BC 989.11
Probation Ends When Least Expected—When probation ends, it will come suddenly, unexpectedly—at a time when we are least expecting it. But we can have a clean record in heaven today, and know that God accepts us; and finally, if faithful, we shall be gathered into the kingdom of heaven (Manuscript 95, 1906). 7BC 989.12
No Second Probation—There is not a second probation for anyone. Now is probationary time, before the angel shall fold her golden wings, the angel of mercy, and shall step down from the throne, and mercy, mercy is gone forever (Manuscript 49, 1894). 7BC 989.13
(John 9:4.) Time of Probation's Close Not Revealed—God has not revealed to us the time when this message will close, or when probation will have an end. Those things that are revealed we shall accept for ourselves and for our children; but let us not seek to know that which has been kept secret in the councils of the Almighty.... 7BC 989.14
Letters have come to me asking me if I have any special light as to the time when probation will close; and I answer that I have only this message to bear, that it is now time to work while the day lasts, for the night cometh in which no man can work. Now, just now, it is time for us to be watching, working, and waiting. 7BC 989.15
The Word of the Lord reveals the fact that the end of all things is at hand, and its testimony is most decided that it is necessary for every soul to have the truth planted in the heart so that it will control the life and sanctify the character. The Spirit of the Lord is working to take the truth of the Inspired Word and stamp it upon the soul so that the professed followers of Christ will have a holy, sacred joy that they will be able to impart to others. The opportune time for us to work is now, just now, while the day lasts. But there is no command for anyone to search the Scriptures in order to ascertain, if possible, when probation will close. God has no such message for any mortal lips. He would have no mortal tongue declare that which He has hidden in His secret councils (The Review and Herald, October 9, 1894). 7BC 989.16Read in context »
If our youth would take heed to the rules laid down in this chapter and practice them, what an influence they would exert on the side of right! ... No longer would the law which they have transgressed be a yoke of bondage, but it would be the law of liberty, the freedom of sonship. Having repented toward God, having exercised faith in Christ, they have experienced forgiveness, and esteem the law of God above gold, yea, above fine gold. TMK 160.3Read in context »
The psalmist prayed, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” The Lord heard him, for how full of assurance are the words, “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” (Psalm 119:18, 103; 19:10.). And as the Lord heard and answered David, so He will hear and answer us, making our hearts full of gladness and rejoicing.13 TMK 196.5Read in context »
In listening to the sermon, let parents and children note the text and the scriptures quoted, and as much as possible of the line of thought, to repeat to one another at home. This will go far toward relieving the weariness with which children so often listen to a sermon, and it will cultivate in all a habit of attention and of connected thought. Ed 252.1
Meditation on the themes thus suggested will open to the student treasures of which he has never dreamed. He will prove in his own life the reality of the experience described in the scripture: Ed 252.2
“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.” Jeremiah 15:16. Ed 252.3
“I will meditate in Thy statutes.” “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold.... Moreover by them is Thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Psalm 119:48; 19:10, 11. Ed 252.4Read in context »